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Jekyll and Hyde

story - influences - motifs - meaning

richard dury

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of Jekyll and Hyde

The investigation continues
Search for Mr Hyde
After the murder...
Utterson questions
Dr Lanyon (J's friend)
Poole (J's butler)
‘Did you ever come across a protégé of his - one Hyde?’
Mr. Utterson stepped out and touched him on the shoulder as he passed. ‘Mr. Hyde, I think?’
‘I saw Mr. Hyde go in by the old dissecting room door, Poole,’ he said...
Hyde commits a murder; Utterson helps the police:
The story
Story of the Door
Lanyon's mysterious death
Henry Jekyll's Full Statement
Dr Lanyon's Narrative
The Last Night
a mysterious connection between
a man of the name of Hyde
Dr Henry Jekyll
enters house of
returns with money
makes his heir
tramples over

‘I wish to see or hear no more of Doctor Jekyll,’
‘not to be opened till the death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll.’
‘Mr. Utterson... there is something wrong.’

Jekyll has locked himself in his study and calls repeatedly for a certain chemical
Utterson and Poole break down the door
They find
the body of Hyde
a sealed envelope addressed to Utterson

Utterson goes home to read the messages of Lanyon and Jekyll
Lanyon's narrative:
after the murder, a note from J:
get some chemicals from his house
give them to a man who will come at midnight
Hyde arrives at midnight:
mixes the chemicals
drinks the potion
turns into Jekyll
J wants to be respectable
enjoy his secret pleasures
finds a potion
divides his two natures
leads a double life
but then
he wakes as Hyde!
he abandons Hyde
but then takes potion again
commits murder
but then Hyde returns spontaneously
vital chemicals cannot be found
Jekyll's statement
I bring the life of that unhappy
Henry Jekyll to an end.
doesn’t say that the murder weapon belonged to Jekyll
takes detective to Hyde’s house
What does it mean?
Utterson confronts Jekyll
‘I have been learning something of young Hyde.’
‘it isn’t what you fancy... And... the moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde...’
Utterson confronts Jekyll again:
‘You have not been mad enough to hide this fellow?’

J gives him a note written by H: he has escaped
He compares
the note by H
and one by J:
‘the two hands are in many points identical...’
the door
to the unknown
to the hidden
to the desired / feared (death)
to heaven / hell
Where did the idea come from?
Doubles stories
Protagonist 'creates' Double
P and D are somehow 'the same'
P likes, then dislikes D
P kills D and dies at the same time
Faust and Mephistopheles
Victor Frankenstein and the Monster
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Double-life stories
gothic novel
sensation novel
about a person with
respectable life, and
secret disrepectable or criminal life
Deacon Brodie
'Sensation novels'
Jekyll's 'Full Statement': 'The pleasures which I made haste to seek in
my disguise

Interest in hypnotism (from late 18C)
subjects act, but cannot remember

French studies of disturbed personality (esp. from 1876)
'double personality' cases
'Double personality' stories
Jekyll and Hyde:
very different personalities
switch from one to the other
J claims he is not responsible
'It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone, that was guilty'
shilling shocker
mythical antagonists

from mid-19C:
crime is a puzzle to be solved by reason
detective collects evidence, interviews people
Conan Doyle
1. medical case, 2. detective case
Jekyll and Hyde:
inexplicable crimes
Utterson collects information
last chapter explains all
the mirror
the hand
man's dual nature
forbidden knowledge
Victorian society
moral allegory
confessions of a sinner:
conflict: good vs bad tendencies
temptation > sin > increasing difficulty of resisting
non-unitary personality
conflict: control vs instinct
repression > return of the repressed
punishment for uncovering forbidden knowledge:
Adam and Eve
Dr Faustus
Dr Frankenstein
a 'social fable':
patriarchal society
secret lives
science fiction
doubles stories
sensation novel
no simple meaning
many signifying elements
multiple, changing meanings
complex structure
ambiguous situations
‘after I had reached years of reflection’
‘man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens’
deuce = (i) two, (ii) devil

duo > dubitum

zwei (two) > Zweifel (doubt)
> Verzweiflung (despair)
is 'a double'
reverses things
shows the body
produces self-awareness
he turned
‘as if upon some sudden reflection’
'It was the hand of Edward Hyde'
Doors in Jekyll's house
back door ('sordid')
front door ('air of wealth')
door of the cabinet (red)
Hyde: '
that ugly idol in the glass'
the mirror
‘was brought here ... for the very purpose of those transformations’
the hand
sign of identity
reminder of the body
two hands:
similar but different
right and left are symbols
Jekyll sees his transformations
by looking in the mirror
by looking at his hands
Utterson visits Lanyon
Lanyon dies, leaves an envelope for Utterson
Poole calls Utterson to Jekyll’s house
Mamoulian's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1931).
Interpretazioni critiche
Interpretazioni, elaborazioni, adattamenti, ri-scritture

Richard Mansfield, 1887
John Barrymore, 1920
S. G. Hulme Beaman, 1930
Pub a tema...
Print series
Mirando Haz, 2002
Full transcript